Adventures in Three Barrel Cove continue apace with Ghost of a Chance, granted to me by the titular ghost who is worried about his trapped brother back in a pirate cave. The cave itself was a normal, if short, little excursion, but it’s in the final room that the meat of this quest happens.
Now DDO has a lot of puzzles — far more than you’d suspect — and some of the puzzle mechanics are reused. One of the developers’ favorite types is what I call the “pathing puzzle,” in which you have to rotate tiles around to create a path for a beam of light to go from the start to the finish (or anywhere else in particular). Ghost of a Chance has one of the largest pathing puzzles I’ve seen in this game, as there are four giant cubes plasted with these tiles in each corner of the room and a prisoner in the middle. Shine the light through the wrong paths, and electricity starts zapping everyone. So the trick here is to use spot to find and avoid the trapped runes first, and then start figuring out the very long, very meandering path.
It took me around 20 minutes, but all things considered, it was just the *right* amount of difficulty for this sort of thing. I don’t like it when puzzles are too frustrating, but one that’s actually fun to watch progress, as these are, can be satisfying. So yes, I finally popped open that cage, and one ghost’s brother was delivered to freedom.
That pretty much wrapped up Three Barrel Cove for me, so it was back to completing missed quests in my adventure compendium. And, hey look — I didn’t finish up the Delara’s Tomb questline for some reason. So off I went to do Thrall of the Necromancer and kill a bajillion skeletons in order to get my Voice of the Master. Yay for bonus XP!
Over in House J, Redwillow’s Ruins proved to be a challenging — and invigorating! — endeavor. A group of misled treasure hunters ended up ambushed and stranded in the deep jungle, and off I was to the rescue.
In an open map like this, I find it best to explore the edges of it first to get an idea of its size before filling in the gaps in the middle. It wasn’t as bad as I initially feared, and the fun of sprinting through relatively wide-open spaces was a nice change of pace from the usual cramped dungeons. There were a couple of pocket instances to conquer, including one with very nasty one-hit-kill traps that took me down (thank goodness for my Cleric!). The ending of this quest surprised me, as I was tossed right into the middle of a herd of rampaging giants and forced to kite for my life.
Going into The Price of Freedom, I knew I was in for a long mission as we had previously done this with our leveling group. It’s not a bad quest; on the contrary, this prison break has a lot of clever design and mechanics behind it. As long as you’re not in a hurry to blast through it, it’s quite fun.
I got a wand early on that let me create these anti-gravity discs that would propel me far up into the air. At the start of the quest, this wand is needed to get up and into the floating prison — and that can be both a fun and frustrating affair. Then it’s a long journey through the innards of a magical prison, freeing the jailed (I got a big kick out of having a crowd of inmates following me — see above), finding secret passages, and ultimately defeating the warden. I love the small details that the designers put into this location, such as the visiting room, the bathroom (with toilet paper!), and a really weird cook who likes ham.